Australia’s business, tax and superannuation systems for visa holders

Clients may ask their RMA for advice on a variety of topics, including how to enter into the business, tax and superannuation (super) systems in Australia. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) advises that for the most up to date information, you should direct your client to the relevant Government website detailed below, or to get into contact with a registered tax agent.

If your client has been asked to get an Australian Business Number (ABN) for a job, they should check if they qualify for an ABN before applying, as not everyone is entitled. If your client wants to find out more information, they should use the ABN entitlement tool.

To get an ABN, the individual must be carrying on a business or be in the process of setting up a business in Australia. Your client won’t need an ABN if they are an employee, for example working for a business that is not their own, or using the tools or equipment of an employer.

ABN holders have their own reporting obligations, including: lodging and declaring income, contributing to their own super and registering for GST where necessary.

Your client may also ask you if they’re entitled to super. You should direct them to the ATO’s Am I entitled to super tool to check if they’re eligible. Temporary residents may be able to claim their super as a departing Australia superannuation payment once they have left the country. They can check the requirements for making a claim at

It is important to note, that only tax practitioners registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) can provide tax agent services for a fee or other reward.

More information about working in Australia, including how to apply for work visas and other useful information can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website. To find out more about what the ATO is doing to combat misuse of ABNs, visit the Australian Business Register website. Together, the ATO and the Department of Home Affairs are working to protect the rights of visa holders.

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